Brexit, now what?

Brexit is the name given to the process of departure of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland  from the European Union. The UK’s exit from the EU took place on 31 January 2020 and the terms of the departure are defined in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU negotiated by both parties (hereinafter Withdrawal Agreement). The Withdrawal Agreement entered into force on 1 February 2020 and provides for an orderly departure of the UK from the EU. To this end, the Withdrawal Agreement foresees a transition or implementation period which expired on 31 December 2020. 

I got my residence before 6th July 2020, do I have to do something?

If you registered your residency with the Spanish authorities before 6 July 2020 and have a green paper residence certificate, you are ok and your green certificate (A4 or credit card-sized) will remain valid proof of your residence and of your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement even after 31 December 2020.You may exchange your green residency for the new TIE if you wish. There is no deadline in place yet as the Foreigners Offices workload has been extremely heavy in the last quarter of 2020.

The obligation to exchange the old residency for the TIE will come and may be soon. It might be a good idea to submit your application sooner rather than later.Also, having the TIE in your possession will help you to identify yourself in Spain if you need to and mean that you won’t need the hassle of carrying your original passport with you.

If I apply for the TIE what do I get?

If you apply for the TIE and have been resident in Spain for less than 5 years, you will be issued with a ‘temporary’ TIE, valid for 5 years. You can apply for a ‘permanent’ TIE as soon as you reach 5 years total legal residence in Spain. You do not have to wait until the original card has expired.If you apply for the TIE and have been resident in Spain for more than 5 years, you will be issued with a ‘permanent’ TIE, valid for 10 years.

What are the advantages of being recognised as a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement? 

Both Brexit and the Withdrawal Agreement make it necessary to know which UK nationals reside in Spain before the end of the transition period and which ones arrive after that date. This is because the former, those who reside in Spain before 31 December 2020, will have the rights of residence, free movement and social security recognised by the Withdrawal Agreement. While those who arrive after that date will have different rights, either those that recognise the future relationship between the EU and the United Kingdom, or, in its absence, those recognised by Spanish law. 

I have a registration certificate, can I still reside in Spain?

Yes, you can continue to reside in Spain. In addition, you and your family members may apply as from 6 July 2020 for the issuance of a residence document (TIE) explicitly mentioning your status as beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, which will facilitate both administrative formalities and the crossing of the external border. The Withdrawal Agreement protects the rights of EU citizens and British nationals, as well as their respective relatives, to continue to live, work or study as they do today and under the same essential conditions as under Union law. As a result, you will be able to continue working as before without any additional permission.

If I am a beneficiary of the Withdrawal Agreement, I am in possession of a residence document issued on the basis of that agreement and want to move to reside in another EU country, can I do so?

 The Withdrawal Agreement recognises the right to reside in the host country, however future mobility will be subject to negotiations within the framework of the future relationship between the UK and the EU. Should there be a lack of agreement in this matter: For short stays: the rules for short stays within the Schengen area apply For stays longer than 3 months, the national legislation of each EEA shall apply.

What is my situation if I arrived in Spain before 31st  December 2020? What do I have to do?

The Withdrawal Agreement provides a transition period until 31 December 2020. As from 6 July, the procedure for obtaining the residence document of Article 18.4 of the Agreement will be enabled. Therefore, if you arrive from that date on, you must apply directly for the residence document (TIE).Family members will maintain their family status throughout the transition period and thereafter.

What will my situation be if I arrive in Spain after 1 January 2021? What foreign legislation applies to me? 

Unless covered by the subjective scope of the Withdrawal Agreement , United Kingdom nationals entering Spain after 1 January 2021 shall be considered as third-country nationals. Therefore, the general immigration regime will apply to them, unless a future mobility scheme is negotiated within the framework of the future relationship being negotiated between the UK and the EU.